Colson Smith's life is so intertwined with his Coronation Street character that his personal body transformation was written into a storyline.
Having previously struggled with sport and his weight as a teenager, Colson decided to change his routine and has come incredibly far, now competing in ITV's The Games.
The popular actor has been playing loveable Craig Tinker on the cobbles since August 2011 – making his debut when mum Beth went on a date with old flame Steve McDonald.
The 23-year-old who moved to Yorkshire when he was five, carried on with school while acting in Corrie until 2016 and is now a full-time member of the cast.
Craig was in a relationship with Bethany Platt, but in real life Colson is incredinly close with the actors who play her on-screen uncles, David and Nick.
When co-star Jack P Shepherd split up from his former fiancee in 2018, the David Platt actor and Colson moved in together in a Manchester-based bachelor pad.
Colson was just a teen when he started on Corrie
Get the news you want straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here
The pals lived in trendy Salford Quays, just a stone’s throw away from the Corrie studios, along with fellow actor Freddie Bolt.
They were known for throwing a few wild parties at their £300,000 flat and Jack was pictured passed out in the lift after one boozy night.
While living together, Jack admitted living with Colson was a "challenge", explaining: "I have to teach him about life and things, and I do his washing. He's like my little project – my nickname is 'Dad'."
But the good times couldn’t last forever as Jack ditched Colson to move in with his new girlfriend in June 2019, leaving the young actor without a place to stay.
Fortunately, Colson got another Corrie co-star housemate in the form of Nick Tilsley actor Ben Price.
"It's a little bit like the changing of the guard, the colour of troop or whatever it's called," said Colson on the podcast Sofa Cinema Club, which he makes with Jack and Ben.
Colson with pals Jack and Ben
Jack replied: "I've handed over the baton. I'm saying, 'I've had that for a year, you deal with that.' I've moved in with my girlfriend, thankfully."
While Ben explained: "It was like, 'The lease is up, you're having him.’"
The trio get on like a house one fire but it hasn’t all been plain sailing off-screen – as Colson and Jack once had a furious row which could have made for a dramatic Corrie episode.
Tempers flared when he sustained a painful foot injury after going for a run on Christmas Day and was unable to get medical help because of lockdown.
Things got tense when Jack asked Colson to create a logo for their podcast merchandise, but the David Platt star admitted it "looked a bit s***".
Revealing all on their podcast, Colson explained: "I was like, 'It's not going to f***ing look like that is it? That's why I've done that'. He hasn't got a clue what's going on because he left school at eight to go an entertain people.
"I was so tempted to turn around and say, 'Jack, do it yourself.' But I thought, 'No, I'm going to battle on with him because he's just being awkward'."
Colson shares similarities with Craig
Having remained silent throughout the rant, Jack added: "I just wasn't sure about them being white, that's all."
Colson has actually described Ben as a "second father" and praised his colleague for supporting him through his weight loss journey.
The young actor lost 10 stone during an incredible 18-month transformation which he filmed in his documentary 'Bored Of Being The Fat Kid'.
Colson, who decided to make major changes to his life, explained: "Me not being fat and not looking the way I look it's me trying to change everything about my life to start again to make me feel good about myself.
"Never liked the way I look, I've never been content. It was quite a challenge to get me right while everything going well. Always seemed impossible."
The real life transformation actually coincided with Craig losing weight on Corrie when he joined the Weatherfield police force.
"Craig is to undergo a transformation… I have to do it too," said Colson. "I want you to watch Craig lose weight on telly, I will show you how Colson has done it in the real world."
Colson at the British Soap Awards 2016
Colson has spoken about his weight loss
He added: "I had a very bad relationship with food. It was negative. It was bingey. It was probably an eating disorder. It was self-harm. But I talk about that more in the documentary."
It was actually Ben who played a huge part in helping Colson put the documentary together and was the main interviewer.
While Colson mays an integral part of the soap, he did actually take a break from Corre last this year to work as a farmer.
He explained: "I finished work and I got a call saying: 'You need to come and help out, we need some help on the farm.'
"I'm a top farmer. I can drive the tractor, I'm good at that kind of stuff."
This week, Colson has been taking part in ITV's The Games, where celebrities have been competing in a series of sport-based challenges.
The actor admitting he never imagined he would be competing in sport but his confidence is growing every day.
Colson has been taking part in The Games
"It's the aspect of a challenge that appealed to me about The Games and to prove to myself that I can do it," he explained.
"I've learnt in recent years that there are no limitations as to what I can and cannot do. This opportunity came up and it seemed like the perfect next step in my fitness journey."
Speaking before taking part, Colson discussed his favourite sporting activity and his chances of winning the show.
"It's a tough one to choose my best event because they're all so varied," he said. "Everyone thinks I'm all about the running, but the running that I usually do is so different to this style of running, that it's almost alien.
"I'm looking forward to learning new skills and learning from the best coaches, in the best venues, thatI can.
"I’m least looking forward to the hurdles. The hurdles are high and it just doesn't feel like it's going toend well on the hurdles!
"And we get on the diving boards soon and I'm not sure that's going to be the most fun experience of my life. Hurdles and diving are not hobbies that I am going to keep up after the show!"
Do you have a story to share? Emailwebfeatures@trinitymirror.com